England and New Zealand get campaigns off to blistering Start
Day two of the men’s hockey competition at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games saw 15 goals scored over two matches as England beat Malaysia 7-0 and
New Zealand won 6-2 against Canada. England provided a masterclass in attacking as they outplayed Asian opponents Malaysia in a dominant performance. A
sign of things to come were evident when Malaysia faced three penalty corners in the first two minutes.
They conceded their first goal after 13 minutes as England’s Sam Ward deflected in a shot from Henry Weir. This proved a double blow for Malaysia, who lost their team video referral after claiming an English foot had touched the ball in the circle.
Despite excellent work by Tengku Tajuddin, the Malaysians were left to rue poor final passes time and time again throughout the match, and their mistakes were clinically punished.
Ward got his and England’s second goal after 19 minutes, before David Goodfield added a third a minute later.
England led 4-0 at halftime when Mark Gleghorne slotted home a penalty stroke minutes before the break.
Goals for Harry Martin, Phillip Roper, and Gleghorne with his second, sealed the victory for England.
In the second and final men’s match of the day, New Zealand out-muscled Canada as they ran out 6-2 winners in their opening match.
New Zealand’s Black Sticks held a 1-0 half-time lead after a tightly fought opening period before the floodgates opened with a wave of black after the break.
Kane Russell got his side off the mark in the 28th minute when he flicked a penalty corner variation into the back of the net.
Less than a minute into the third quarter, Nic Woods doubled New Zealand’s lead with a powerful drag flick of his own, beating all defenders on its way into the goal.
With Canada pushing for a comeback, the Black Sticks were off running in the other direction and made it 3-0 in the 40th minute when George Muir pulled off an athletic sliding touch to score.
New Zealand added two more in the following two minutes with Dane Lett flicking in a penalty corner before Stephen Jenness delivered a punishing goal shot from the top of the circle.
Canada pulled two goals back through James Kirkpatrick and Gordon Johnston but it was New Zealand’s day with a 60th minute Hugo Inglis field goal concluding the game.
Head Coach Darren Smith said it was pleasing to put together a strong performance against a high quality Canada side. He said: “Canada would have been lining that game up and they’re a tough team so to be able to do a good job, particularly in the middle of the game was a really good result for us.”.
He continued: “I was really happy with how we accumulated (goals) through the second and third quarters and we played some good hockey, we also left a few opportunities on the park through some solid attacking play.”
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